Windows XP

  • Avast has announced the end of support for Windows XP and Vista computers. The company published a blog post which stated that starting 1st Jan 2019, Windows XP and Vista won’t get updates. “Avast cybersecurity products will officially stop updating our antivirus product for Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems as of January 1, 2019. The demand to protect those systems has substantially waned in recent years at the same time that the need to protect Windows 7 systems and later has grown. We recommend that all Avast users update their Windows operating systems to the latest version of Windows 10 — not only to continue enjoying the newest Avast security upgrades, but also to eliminate the likelihood that the vulnerable older system you are currently using will get exploited.” I would like to point out that Avast has said computers on XP or Vista will continue to receive virus definition updates but no feature updates will be provided. So while they are still going to keep computers safe you will not get the benefit of new features which I find as a security person to be a very good decision by Avast. Windows XP Extended support for Windows XP ended on April 8, 2014, as of August 2018, 3.06% of Windows PCs run Windows XP. In June of 2017 was the last time Windows XP had any kind of security update. Windows Vista support ended April 11, 2017, and got security updates in June of 2017 as well. I understand Avast not wanting to develop antivirus anymore for older unsupported operating systems and it’s time for users to move off to Windows 10 or Windows 7 which is supported till January 14, 2020, which gives users time but will approach sooner than users realize.
  • Most systems administrators by now will already know that April 8th is the day when Microsoft will cease to provide support for any systems that are operating on Windows XP. Many people will have already upgraded to a newer version of Windows, or have simply bought new PC’s with Windows 7 or 8 already installed. However a great number of PC users have remained with XP, content with Microsoft Office 2002 and simple solitaire. They may belong to the older generation of PC owners, or could simply be casual users who do not rely on a computer other than to send the occasional email. It may be hard to believe that in this technologically dominated age there are still users who run the 12 year old Windows XP, but with regular updates provided with most modern operating systems every month or so, some users may prefer to stick with running an older version of Windows to save the hassle of learning a new system. However with the cut off point for support provided for Windows XP looming, users may find themselves forced to upgrade to a later version of Windows, or to a different system all together, in order to continue receiving the support they need.  What this means for XP Users Essentially Microsoft will no longer be issuing security updates for Windows XP. Up until April 8th XP Users will be able to download and update any security patches, however if any new flaws within the operating system are discovered after April 8th, there will be no subsequent security patches to resolve them. This is likely to have two immediate effects, although there may well be more. – Hackers could potentially target any new flaws found within the operating system, which could allow them to infect a PC running...
  • Microsoft announced it will continue to provide updates to its security products (antimalware engine and signatures) for Windows XP users through July 14, 2015. Previously, the company said: “As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date.” For consumers, this new announcement means Microsoft Security Essentials will continue to get updates after support ends for Windows XP. For enterprise customers, the same goes for System Center Endpoint Protection, Forefront Client Security, Forefront Endpoint Protection, and Windows Intune running on Windows XP. Microsoft needs to push consumers and businesses off of Windows XP to more secure products, and the best way to do that is to stick to its end of support date. Windows XP is over 12 years old and there are still so many millions of Windows XP users out there that leaving them completely vulnerable could cause more harm than good. The company is thus providing updates to its security products for an additional 15 months. In other words, while Windows XP will no longer be a supported operating system come April, companies will be at least partially protected.
  • There are reportedly 420,000 ATMs in the U.S. that still run Windows XP. As of April 8th ATMs running Windows XP will no longer receive regular security patches and won’t be in compliance with industry standards. Most machines that get upgraded will shift to Windows 7, an operating system that became available in October 2009. Some companies get a bit of a reprieve: For ATMs using a stripped-down version of XP known as Windows XP Embedded, which is less susceptible to virus and malware attacks. Banks are already purchasing extended support agreements from Microsoft. Microsoft is selling custom tech support agreements that extend the life of Windows XP, although the cost can soar quickly multiplying by a factor of five in the second year. JPMorgan is buying a one-year extension and will start converting its machines to Windows 7 in July about 3,000 of its 19,000 ATMs need enhancements before the process can begin. Wells Fargo says that the company is working with Microsoft and ATM manufacturers to upgrade its machines. The cost to upgrade a single ATM to Windows 7 can range from a few hundred dollars if its hardware is adequate to thousands of dollars if new components are required. ATMs whose operators ignore the deadline will continue to function they will just become more vulnerable to malware and other attacks against weaknesses discovered over time in Windows XP. The ATM industry has faced deadlines of this kind before new encryption standards became mandatory in 2002. In 2011 banks had to upgrade ATMs with audio technology to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  • November 2, 2012

    No Service Pack 2 For Windows 7

    Perhaps serving as further proof that Microsoft is supremely confident in Windows 8 and expects nothing less than success, it’s being reported that Windows 7 will not see a second Service Pack.  It’s still unusual for Microsoft to stop after Service Pack 1 but over course of the last decade we have seen Service packs on the decline Windows 2000 – Service Pack 4 Windows XP – Service Pack 3 Windows Vista – Service Pack 2 Windows 7 – Service Pack 1 It took three years for Microsoft to release an Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. Which was delayed might I add because of the blaster issue which affected so many people.  As of last month, it’s been three years since the release of Windows 7 in October 2009. People familiar with the matter have hinted that Windows 8 could mark the end of service packs, as a similar strategy could be extended to all the other operating systems in Microsoft’s product family.  Service Packs are expensive and time consuming for Microsoft to develop and deploy.  IT Professionals then have to deal with the task of deploying them on large scale networks, and cleaning up the pieces. Service Packs are handy because they contain numerous security and performance updates all rolled into one, saving IT managers and home consumers time when it comes to patching Windows and making sure they’re up to date on new systems. Windows 7 users will have to update their operating systems every month until support for this particular version is no longer offered.  Which in my personal option will not be supported as long as XP which just never seems to go away.
  • August 21, 2012

    Installing XP drivers on Vista or 7

    1. Downloading latest drivers (v14.19.50) for XP from the manufactures site and extracting them to a separate folder 2. Booting Windows 7 or Vista in the safe mode 4. Then navigate to Device Manager -> Video Adapter (VGA compatible) -> Properties 5. Click Driver -> Update driver -> Browse -> Let me pick -> Display adapters -> Have disk -> give path to the folder of the extracted driver 6. After you get error about driver installation in Device Manager click on “Scan for new hardware” 7. Boot your W7 or Vista in “Disable driver signing enforcement” mode
  • 1. Click Start -> Run -> Regedit 2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001ServicesIntelppm 3. Highlight the start value 4. Right click and click modify 5. Then change the value to 4 6. Click ok and reboot the PC